(God)Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life, But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,indignation and wrath,(Romans 2:6-8)
The Infinite, personal God of the Bible, is going to judge the world in Righteousness. The standard is absolute perfection, it could be no less. “The Righteousness that he requires, is the righteousness his righteousness requires him to require…”(anon).
Put aside the question of Jew or Gentile, and consider, what does Righteousness according to God’s standard look like ? What fruit would a perfect observance of the Torah produce in a person?
Paul, by the Holy Spirit succinctly describes the characteristics of the righteous , as well as the mark of someone who is damned and perhaps doesn’t realise it.
“To those who by patient continuance in well doing…”
Perfect Righteousness in a person is reflected by total consistency in doing good works. A righteous man always does good.
“Seek for glory, honor and immortality , eternal life”
A man is known by what he loves, desires and seeks. Show me what a man lives for, and hopes in and I can tell you the measure of that man. A righteous man seeks Glory. By that we don’t mean personal fame or aggrandizement, but the honor that shall come from God alone. “Well done thou good and faithful servant…”.
In other words a truly Righteous man seeks the praise of God, not of man, He plays before an audience of one. Jesus said of himself ,
I do not seek glory from men…(John 5:41)
As a person Jesus didn’t seek the approval or glory of man, but always to glorify God. One of his indictments to the Jewish establishment was that faith was impossible to them, because they sought glory from each other, and not from God.
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:44)
A Righteous man seeks Honor , which means that the rewards he seeks are from God. He isn’t man-centered, his values are oriented towards God, and the day of God’s reward,He seeks God.
Finally what a truly Righteous man seeks , is Immortality. This goes further than the desire to live forever, the one who is “in the right with God” is continually seeking “incorruptibility”, He wants free of sin, it’s ravages, and effects, He craves the total deliverance from all ‘hurtful lusts, defiling sin, anything that wrongs God or his fellow man, he longs for purity in thought as ell as deeds.
Paul declares that it is these who will be rewarded by God with eternal life. This is the true description of the one devoted to God, this is the true piety, the true righteousness, nothing more nothing less. But who is really and consistently like this?